Battle Brief New Orleans - Battles Background The Battle of...

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Battles Background The Battle of New Orleans was a result of the war of 1812 between the British Empire and the United State. America declared war on the British because of the navel impressments’ practices of the British Royal Navy on American Sailors. The British military elite view of the war of 1812 was one they considered trivial compared to the Napoleonic war being waged throughout Europe at the time. The British did have an ample supply of hardened veteran troops to send to the Americas due to the Napoleonic war in Europe. General Edward Pakenham was the British officer in charge of the New Orleans Campaign. His plan was to sail with V-Adm. Alexander Cochran towards New Orleans with a force of 8,000 men land East of the city and from there capture the strategic trading city of New Orleans. If Pakenham could capture New Orleans American trade down the Mississippi river into the Gulf would be immediately cut off. General Jackson arrived in New Orleans on December 1 st in order to defend the city against the Napoleonic tested veterans of Britain. Order of Battles British Army (Phase one of The Battle of New Orleans) The British navy under Vice Admiral Cochran approached New Orleans from Lake Borgne to the east and quickly dispatched the five American ships guarding the Lake. On December 22, British General John Keane landed at the mouth of Bayou Bienvenue unopposed with 1,800 British troops, roughly 12 miles from New Orleans. Keane’s advance guard, commanded by Colonel William Thornton’s Eighty-fifth Regiment, pushed west and captured a plantation guarded by local Louisiana militia under the command of General Villere early on December 23 and made it the headquarters for the British Army. A Major in the militia was able to escape and tell Jackson that the British had landed in force and was now south east of the city. Keane could have marched towards New Orleans but made the cautious decision to hold until the full force of the royal army was gathered. Later that afternoon around 7:30 while the British were in camp American cannon fire was heard from the river, and under the light of a full moon an unknown number of American troops attacked the British encampment. The British took quick casualties at first but were soon able to form up and repel the American surprise attack, suffering an estimated 143 casualties. This action by the Americans surprised Keane and his officers and caused the Royal army to delay their attack on New Orleans, giving Jackson time to better prepare New Orleans defenses. Jackson’s forces (Phase one of The Battle of New Orleans) A little past noon on December 23, While Jackson was preparing the defenses of New Orleans for the impeding British assault; he received word from Major Villere a local militia man who had escaped the British capture of the plantation east of the city. The militia Major
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reported that Keane’s troops had landed and were just south east of the city preparing to assault the city of New Orleans. Upon hearing this report, General Jackson prepared a three prong
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This note was uploaded on 06/20/2011 for the course HIS 386w taught by Professor Steel during the Spring '09 term at Sam Houston State University.

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Battle Brief New Orleans - Battles Background The Battle of...

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